For one brief minute the Washington Catholic Lady Cardinals held the lead on the North Daviess Lady Cougars. It might have been the only glimmer of light they saw all night. After grabbing a 1-0 lead in the opening minute North Daviess came back and scored, and scored and scored again and the Lady Cougars walked away with a 78-10 win.
From that first point on the Lady Cougars put on a stifling defense that left Washington Catholic struggling and committing more turnovers than shots taken. “We’re a defense first team,” said North Daviess Coach Ron Knepp. “The girls came out and really executed defensively. We work hard on it in practice and it showed tonight.”
While the defense was working the offense also appeared to be hitting on all cylinders for North Daviess. Senior Meghan Knepp scored seven of her game-high 19 points as the Lady Cougars took an 18-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Washington Catholic was playing without senior starter Elizabeth Perkins who was injured against Shakamak. “We needed other people to step up and they didn’t,” said Washington Catholic coach Michael Hopkins. “We depend on Elizabth for so much and we just didn’t react well to her not being there.”
The Lady Cardinals did show some flashes in the second quarter when Wichman dropped in two long 3-pointers, but it wasn’t enough. North Daviess kept the pressure on and led 40-7 at the half. The Lady Courgars shot 59 percent in the first half, compared to 18 percent for Washington Catholic
“Our offense looked pretty good,” said Knepp. “We passed the ball well and hit people in stride and in rhythm to shoot.”
North Daviess stretched the lead to 58-8 in the third quarter. All of the players on the bench were getting in the game and senior Sabra Smith scored six of her 19 points in the third period. “It was good to get all of our girls in the game, let them have some playing time against some people they weren’t familiar with,” said Knepp. “This gave them a chance to see what works.”
For the Lady Cardinals little worked most of the night. They committed 33 turnovers and were out rebounded 61-28.
“I have to give North Daviess a lot of credit,” said Hopkins. “They are a good team, but I was really disappointed with the way we played. We’ve worked hard on our ballhandling, but we just don’t have the attitude to take the ball where we want to go.”
Besides Knepp an Smith, Taylor Mallett added 10 points for the Lady Cougars with all but one player on the roster scoring.
Washington Catholic was led by Wichman with seven and Sydnie Dunbar added three points.